Needles and Sharps

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Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Hazardous Waste

We collect needles and sharps (as well as medicine and prescription drugs) at several local sites. To properly dispose of sharps and needles, place them in a dedicated, approved, red sharps container (found at pharmacies) and drop off the full container at the City of Santa Cruz Household Hazardous Waste Drop off site listed below.

For more drop-off sites in Santa Cruz, visit www.med-project.org

Note: Take needles and sharps to participating stores during store hours only.

City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility – Household Hazardous Waste 
605 Dimeo Lane, Santa Cruz 95060 | (831) 420-6270
Saturdays Only 7:30am – 3:30pm
Accepts sharps and medicine


 

 

 

needle-caps

Do Not Recap

Do not put needle caps back on needles to avoid injuring yourself from needle pricks.

Never Throw Away

Do not throw needles or sharps in the trash in order to protect sanitation workers, trash haulers, friends and family from needle pricks. Needle pricks put them at risk of infection and injury.

sharps-container

Use Only Sharps Containers for Disposal

To dispose of needles and sharps, place them in sharps containers and bring them to a designated sharps disposal facility.

lancet

What Is Considered a Sharp?

All of the following must be disposed of as sharps waste: hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets and other devices that are used to break the skin of people and animals.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

Mail-Back Programs for Injectable Pharmaceuticals

Mail used sharps and pens back to the manufacturer of injectable pharmaceuticals. The following manufacturers accept sharps waste generated from their products: Cimzia® (UCB), Enbrel® (Amgen)Humera® (AbbVie)Neulasta® (Amgen)Novo NordiskOrencia® (Bristol-Myers) and Simponi® (Janssen Biotech, Inc.).

stericycle-logo

Stericycle® Mail Service for Home Sharps

Stericycle runs a sharps container mail-back service for small quantity generators of waste. They include bar-coded waste shipping containers, prepaid and pre-addressed shipping labels and prepaid disposal and tracking. Find out more.

republic-services

Republic Services Mail-Back Service

Republic Services offers a mail-back service for managing home-generated medical waste. Find out more.

MedPro

MedPro Mail-Back Disposal

MedPro offers various sizes of mail-back sharps disposal systems, starting with 1.2 gallon containers. All containers are mailed to recipients via USPS with a prepaid return slip and proof of destruction manifest. Find out more.

GRP Mail-Back Sharps Container

GRP and Associates offer a mail-back sharps disposal service. They will mail you a sharps container, which you package and mail-back to them. Find out more.

Ways to Reduce

unopened-sharps

Return Unused Sharps to a Needle Exchange Program

Instead of dropping off unopened sharps at a disposal facility, consider taking them to a needle exchange program. Find the nearest program.

Did You Know?

How Sharps Affect Sanitation Workers

Disposing of sharps isn’t always convenient. At the same time, sharps in the trash and recycling pose a huge health risk to sanitation workers. If workers come across a needle hidden in trash, they can get struck and have to wait up to a year to know if they’ve contracted a blood-borne virus, such as hepatitis B.